The Perils of Doing It Alone

June 2, 2014

The Perils Of Doing It Alone


This post is in response to people who have been burned by their architect or interior designer. I get it, I really do! I have noticed many people trying to do their projects on their own, so here are a few thoughts for you.

1. Most interior designers insist on taking you to a Design Center, most everything is expensive and you have to wait 4-6 months while your selection comes over on a slow-moving boat from Italy.


I don’t work that way unless my client wants me to. I have many sources in Chicago that have items currently in stock. We can even make a decision in one day if you are on a tight schedule. Handsome furnishings come from many diverse sources. Consumers forget they are actually paying over 300% markup on items sold by retail stores. Design Centers have products at all price points. It is important to remember that most To The Trade showrooms provide better quality selections than what is typically found in shops open to the public.

2. Designers are too expensive and use their clients as ATMs.


Designers can be compensated in many different manners, (hourly, flat fee or percentage), the basis is mutually agreed upon and must work for the client’s needs. The best part about hiring a trained designer is that you are actually paying someone who has professional expertise. The true professional has extensive experience, and can effortlessly assist you with your design dilemma.

3. Redoing a space is so complicated and time-consuming. I don’t want to be inconvenienced.


Why not spruce up your existing space? We often forget what we have can be reused, reupholstered or repurposed. Many of our clients require staging in their home, this can really help prior to selling your property. We have had clients change their mind about moving once they see our completed staging. Sometimes we don’t know what we have until a professional helps edit and rearrange our possessions.

4. Designers only follow their own style, and do not really listen to their client’s opinion.


A great designer really listens to their client, and takes extensive notes on what is needed. A true professional understands the client’s budget, and suggests appropriate pieces and furnishings that are within the budgetary parameters. There is nothing worse than being shown things that are out of the budget.

5. I want my style to show and do not want someone taking over my life.


Most intelligent people are apprehensive when embarking upon a new relationship. Working with a designer is not supposed to make you feel on edge, feel free to express yourself and tell your designer what you like/dislike. A good designer will uncover what will look best while allowing your taste to show through. A talented professional will uncover your needs, and present items that meet these needs while exciting you with the potential they see in your new space.

Change can be very exciting in our lives, I invite you to consider making some refinements to your environment. Now is the perfect time to begin the transformation.

Here’s to new beginnings,




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Kenneth Walter is a professional Interior Designer who sends design tips, ideas, and inspiration by email. Sign up today (double opt-in so you must confirm).

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